CUPE Labour Update for Families

CUPE Labour Update for Families
Posted on 11/02/2022

November 2, 2022

Dear Parents and Guardians:

CUPE (representing custodial staff at our Board) has announced that they will not be at work on Friday, November 4th, due to a province-wide protest and unsuccessful labour negotiations with the province. We have carefully reviewed the situation and have determined that in the absence of custodial staff, the learning environment would be unsafe for students. For this reason, we have made the difficult decision to close schools for all students on Friday, November 4th. Families must make alternative arrangements for the care and supervision of their children. 

Students will be provided with work to complete independently at home on Friday. Before and After School programs, school transportation services, Community Use of Schools and extracurricular activities will also be cancelled on Friday.  

Our planning must also take into account that labour unrest could go beyond Friday. At this time, we are encouraging families to explore alternate arrangements for their children, in case this labour unrest continues. Although we are not distributing technology on Friday, we are making plans to ensure students have the appropriate technology at home, so we can move to a synchronous remote learning model as soon as possible, if necessary. 

Please know that making the decision to close schools was not easy. We know that returning to a learning from home scenario will be difficult for many caregivers and children. At the same time, the health and safety of our students must always be our top consideration. After exploring all the critical daily functions performed by custodial staff, including continued COVID-19 cleaning protocols, we cannot safely keep schools open for students.

We do pray that a fair contract can be negotiated, or that full strike action is averted before Friday’s planned protest. We are committed to providing families with updates as they become available. We also encourage you to review our Labour Question and Answer Document, which has more information about labour negotiations at our board. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation.

Yours in Faith,

Frances Bagley

Director Education